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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 1, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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02/01/16 02/01/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> let me just say this, when we began this campaign, we were at 3% in the polls, we were 50 points behind hillary clinton. today, as you have indicated, we are no connect. i think we have a real shot to win this. >> i know what it takes because of the incredible experience i have had over the years, to see the kind of challenges that come to the president that only the
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president can decide. amy: it's caucus day in iowa -- one of the whitest states in the country. the first nominating contest in the presidential race. can bernie sanders upset hillary clinton? the republicans are caucusing as well. >> the bottom line is, we are one to make our country great again i'm ok? caucus.ut on monday, rivals?l donald trump's how will marcorubio fair? we will speak with wayne ford who is backing clinton, and i with radio host ed fallon who has just endorsed bernie sanders. hugh espey of iowa citizens for community improvement will help demystify the iowa caucus system, and we will speak to writer jeff biggers about the undercovered issuses in iowa.
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up.of that and more coming welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the road to the white house begins an hour tonight. voters will gather at 8:00 eastern time to select their p.m. picks for the democratic and republican nomination. polls show tight races on both sides. republican frontrunner donald trump holds a small lead over texas senator ted cruz. in the democratic race, vermont senator bernie sanders has rallied to close what was once a 40-point deficit behind hillary clinton. on sunday, more than 1000 people gathered to hear his final speech before voting begins. isand what this campaign about, to try to win tomorrow night, to try to win the democratic nomination, to try to win the general election. it more important, and part of that process, are millions of people coming together -- black
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and white and latino, gay and straight, male and female. [applause] people born in this country, people who have immigrated into this country. [applause] trumps not allow donald and the other people -- we will not allow them to divide us up. we will stand together. amy: the campaigns are watching an approaching winter storm that could impact voter turnout. as the first in the nation to vote on presidential hopefuls, the iowa caucus plays an outsize role in the election cycle. voters have been treated to months of visits from candidates and more than $150 million in political advertising. we'll have more from iowa after headlines. in more news from the campaign trail, a former paid staffer has accused the trump campaign of sex discrimination.
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26-year-old elizabeth mae davidson has filed a complaint alleging trump's campaign paid male organizers more than female organizers doing the same jobs. davidson worked for trump's campaign as a district representative in davenport, iowa. she says she was paid $2000 a month, while male counterparts were paid as much as $4000 a month. the complaint also alleges that trump told her and another young female volunteer at a rally in "you guys could do a lot of 2015, damage" -- a reference to her looks. trump denied making this remark, telling the "new york times" -- "that is not the worst thing that could be said. but i never said it." the state department has determined at least 22 of hillary clinton's emails sent over her private server contained highly classified information. this comes amid a months-long inquiry into clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. clinton has previously said none of her emails she sent or received were marked classified at the time.
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the state department says while they were not deemed classified when they were sent, they will not make public at least 22 emails now because they contained material that was "top secret." in syria, at least 70 people have been killed in an attack by the self-proclaimed islamic state near the revered sayyida zeinab mosque south of damascus. the sayyida zeinab mosque is one of the most important shia holy sites in the world. sunday's attack came as the united nations attempts to mediate peace talks between the president bashar al-assad's regime and various opposition groups. in nigeriaas many as 86 people have been killed after boko haram militants attacked a village in the northeast borno state. witnesses say the attack included three female suicide bombers, as well as men firing on residents and lighting fire to their homes. the attack comes about a month after nigerian president muhammadu buhari said nigeria has "technicallyon the war" against boko haram.
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in news from afghanistan, pentagon officials report carrying out at least a dozen airstrikes and house raids against militants with the self-proclaimed islamic state over the last few weeks. this comes after the white house broadened the scope of u.s. military actions against isil last month. president obama officially declared an end to the u.s. combat mission in afghanistan in 2014. yet there are currently nearly 10,000 u.s. troops serving in afghanistan. pentagon officials told the "new york times," they estimate that u.s. airstrikes and home raids have killed as many as a 100 isil militants within the last few weeks. meanwhile, in kabul, at least 10 people have died in a suicide bomb attack near the afghan parliament this morning. u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon has published a strongly worded "new york times" op-ed criticizing israel's continued occupation of the west bank and gaza. this comes amid an increasing public dispute between ban ki-moon and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. last week, ban called israeli
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settlemes "an afont to t palestinn peoplend to th internatnal commity." in resnse, isrli prime minister netanyahu said ban ki-moon's criticism gives a tailwind to terrorism and that the u.n. lost its neutrality and moral force a long time ago." in ban's editorial, entitled, "don't shoot the messenger," he accused netanyahu of twisting his words and wrote -- "history proves that people will always resist occupation." meanwhile, ban ki-moon visited ethiopia over the weekend amid the worst-drought in ethiopia in decades. the drought has caused critical food shortages for more than 10 million people. a local resident spoke out. >> it is really going to be life-threatening if this continues as it is now, because we have nothing to eat. we're in the hands of the government now. amy: new research shows climate change is accelerating drought conditions in the horn of africa. the african union has abandoned its plans to send peacekeeping forces to burundi amid ongoing
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violence sparked by burundi president pierre nkurunziza's decision last year to seek a third term. more than 400 people have been killed and nearly a quarter of a million have fled abroad since april. the violence is the worst rundi has seen since the end of its 12-year civil war, which ended in 2005. in news from europe, europol says at least 10,000 child refugees have disappeared after arriving on european soil sparking concern that many of , them may have fallen victim to human and sex trafficking. europol says thousands of children have registered with european authorities, yet are now are unaccounted for. the agency estimates some may be with family members, but that others have fallen into hands of a pan-european "criminal infrastructure." meanwhile, in sweden, a group of men has been arrested after more than 100 men, some wearing masks and carrying wooden sticks, descended on central stockholm friday night with the intention of beating up refugee children.
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a flier distributed before the planned attack threatened to give refugee children the "punishment they deserve." police say they arrested some of the men before the attack could occur. it appears the planned attack may have been in reaction to the recent death of swedish asylum worker alexandra mezher, who was killed last week at a center for unaccompanied minors. in austin, texas, transgender woman monica loera has been murdered. police say a man arrived at her house on friday night saying he'd forgotten his jacket. he pounded on the door until loera opened it, at which point the man shot her. police have arrested the man in connection with the shooting. but the police reports and the subsequent local media reports misgendered loera for days, referring to her as male and calling her by her previous name david. ,last year more than 20 , transgender women were murdered, more than any other year on record. in news from michigan, the board
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of state canvassers has rejected a petition to recall michigan governor rick snyder over his handling of flint's lead-poisoned water. the crisis began after a snyder-appointed, unelected emergency manager switched the source of flint's drinking water to the corrosive flint river. flint resident quincy murphy had filed the petition to begin a recall effort against snyder for "failing to protect the health and safety" of flint residents. flint residents have been calling for snyder's resignation and arrest over the ongoing water contamination crisis. in new york city, dozens of store workers from the flagship the nh photo video store in manhattan held a protest and a rally sunday to demand better working conditions in the right to unionize after more than 200 -- successfully voted to unionize with united
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steelworkers last fall and are about to begin contract negotiations. and in news from park city, utah, nate parker's, "the birth of a nation," won top prizes at the 2016 sundance film festival. parker produced, directed and , starred in the feature film about the 1831 slave rebellion in south hampton county, virginia, organized by enslaved man and preacher nate turner. on saturday night, parker accepted both the grand jury prizeor a nartive filand thaudienceward forrama. >> this mean so much to me because a film like this, being a film some would call an issue zone, it succeeds when it touches people, when it affects people. and i've seen firsthand that people are open to the idea of change and the fact that it is happening through this film needs every thing to me. i just want to thank you all so much. thk you, sdance, f creati a platfm for uso grown bite of what the rest of hollywood is doing sometimes. thank you for being the leader
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in what you do. amy: that is nate parker who directed and acted as net turner in his film "the birth of a nation. in the documentary category, roger ross williams won best director for "life, animated," the story of autistic man owen suskind. williams, who is also the first african american director to win an academy award, spoke out about #oscarsowhite in his acceptance speech. >> in the age of oscar so white and the like of diversity in hollywood, i want to thank the institute for supporting artist like me, who never -- you never have a voice. owen susskind is an amazing individual because what he taught me is that people living with autism have so much to offer the world. and if we leave them behind, we're losing out in society, and i really wanted to tell the story from his point of view.
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thank you so much. amy: and the documentary, "trapped," won the special jury award for social impact filmmaking. the film addresses so-called trap laws, which stands for targeted regulation of abortion providers, and their impact on abortion providers in the south. director dawn porter spoke about the challenges abortion providers are facing during her acceptance speech. >> this lm is really for the people who are risking our lives and their health and safety and keeping clinics open whilehe aboron providers and peopl we see you, we hear you, your story is important. and this will go so much -- so far to tell that story, so thank you so much. amy: to see our full interviews with directors dawn porter and roger ross williams during the sundance film festival, go to our website democracynow.org. another of the films thatwon was good jim: the james foley story." you can see our interview with
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james foley's parents and a director at democracynow.org as well. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the road to the white house begins in iowa today with the opening contest of the 2016 presidential campaign. voters will gather at 8:00 p.m. eastern time to select their picks for the democratic and republican nomination. the iowa caucus is technically different from a normal presidential primary party-members will gather and , discuss their preferred candidates before ballots are cast. the caucus sites, including paul's, libraries, taverns and grain elevators. as the caucus gets underway, the campaigns are watching an approaching winter storm that could hurt voter turnout. polls show tight races on both sides. republican front-runner donald trump holds a small lead over texas senator ted cruz. in the democratic race, vermont senator bernie sanders has rallied to close what was once a 40-point deficit behind hillary clinton. now they aren't a. -- now they are neck and neck.
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on sunday, clinton told iowa supporters she is the more qualified choice. quick it is true when you go to caucus tomorrow night, you're selecting not only the next president, but the next commander-in-chief. and i feel strongly tt our untry mu continue to lead in accordance with our values to further interest, to advance our security. i know what it takes because of the incredible experience that i've hadver theearsto see the kind ochalleng that come to the preside that only the president can decide. amy: sanders' surge in the polls has been fueled by an influx of young voters and rallies drawing huge crowds. on saturday, the sanders campaign said it had raised $20 million in january alone. speaking to nbc's "meet the press," sanders said he's drawing voters fed up with the status quo. >> as you well know, when we began this campaign, we were at 3% in the polls. we were 50 points behind hillary clinton. today, we are neck and neck.
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i think we have a real shot to largeis if there is a footer turnout. it is not just young people, it is working people, middle class people who are sick and tired of status quo politics. that's true in iowa. that is true in new hampshire. it is true all over the country. whitestas one of the states in the country. but as the first to vote on presidential hopefuls, the iowa caucus plays an outsize role in the election cycle. presidential campaigning now starts a year before the opening iowa contest -- that's nearly two years before the actual election day in november 2016. voters have been treated to months of visits from candidates and more than $150 million in political advertising. for more, we go to des moines, iowa, where we are joined by two guests. ed fallon is host of the "fallon forum," which airs on two radio stations in iowa. he served as a member of the iowa general assembly from 1993 to 2006. he is backing bernie sanders in the race. just came out and announced
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that. wayne ford is co-founder and co-chair of the iowa brown and black presidential forum and a backer of hillary clinton. he is a former iowa state representative and iowa's longest serving black legislator, having served for 14 years from 1997 to 2010. we welcome you both to democracy now! us the lay ofve the land. i mean, you have iowa, one of the whitest states in the country behind, what, maine, vermont, new hampshire, which is the next primary state, west virginia, then iowa. it is determining -- it is setting the stage -- i mean, the person who wins the race is not necessarily the one who will win for president, but it sets the tone for the entire presidential race. can you talk about your state? of.es, i can come any first of all, i am very proud we were the state backup president obama started. although we are this fifth
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whitest state, but just by letting the first black president is the people in iowa, we look at the message, not the color. when jesse jackson ran a 1988, i had a meeting with him. i said, why do you put your headquarters in des moines? he said, i don't want to be there, i want to be in greenfield, iowa. he went to white committed to, setup and to this day they still talk about jesse jackson. if you remove the color issue and put it on message, since 1976 when jimmy carter came here and said, i'm just a peanut farmer, i'm from the south, so i hear you, plus we have the highest voter turnout during presidential elections in america. we have almost 70%. there is no other state back and say during the vote time that has had higher percentage of the vote. i'm very proud of what we have done as a state by keeping these candidates on message. amy: what are some of the key message -- issues that i once care about, wayne ford? >> when hillary said, criminal
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justice, we're not too far from ferguson, missouri, minneapolis, kansas city, we are in the midwest. we have a lot of challenges when it comes to race. criminal justice is the issue that people talk to me about. i've got young black men in des moines who say, wayne, i have a terraced property my neighborhood. i don't need to go overseas. i'm scared to walk across the street. whether it is minneapolis or chicago or ferguson, you a lot of black people in this part of the world are really concerned about criminal justice. to becomece deese blind, but many times she is not. we're one of the hardest work being -- working areas in the country. hillary clinton said that will be her number one priority, recall informing -- reconfirming criminal justice. amy: you to have both just recently endorsed candidates will stop wayne ford, were you with the clintons this weekend?
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>> yes, yes, i was very happy, but i did make my endorsement until after the black and brown presidential forum, the oldest minority form in america. i made a decision many years ago that i would never make a decision until people come to my forum. i was on the front row. i got a good example to listen to everybody. when she mentioned criminal justice, when she mentioned not to the great -- from birth to college to the cradle, i understood that. when she mentioned some things that were very exciting to me, and that is why was very happy to be with the clintons this past week. amy: we're going to go to some of the clips from that form will stop i want to bring ed fallon in, radio host who has just recently endorsed bernie sanders . first, talk about what you think is most important for people to understand about iowa, then we will have a little debate, discussion about who you are both endorsing. is more diverse
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than most people think. we are more urban the most people think. obvious thesues are very important. one thing i've been interested to see is the growth in interest about climate change. that issue has gone from very little conversation to quite a lot. there is been a whole bunch of nonprofit organizations that have been helping to push that issue along, including the climate mobilization, which just staged an emergency caucus which down. sanders won hands he cleaned up at it. i think there's a real strong sense that sanders is the best candidate to deliver the emergency economic transformation we need to fight climate change. that is why i came around to endorse him after that event. at the other issue that is of particular interest to me is the proposal for a new pipe line across iowa. with the keystone pipeline, the oil industry still wanted to get that over to tarzan's oil to market, they're trying to build a pipeline through iowa and that has united libertarians,
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environmentalists, landowners and farm owners. you would not hear any candidate mention of before. now bernie sanders is running advertisements about his opposition to it on the radio, a flyer, talking about it in every speech he gives. to me, it is encouraging to see at least one candidate on the democratic side and rand paul on the republican side have both come out against that issue. that tie so strongly not just into climate change and water quality, but also land rights. to think about how the government would have to approve eminent domain for private oil company and ordered to take the land needed, it is so wrong and it riles people up in the state. about 75% of iowans are against the use of him in a domain for that pipeline. i'm surprised more candidates have not come out against it. we have not heard a word from heller clinton about it, by the way. amy: that's got a break and then we will come back to this discussion. wayne ford has just endorsed hillary clinton where he is in des moines. our state -- he is also former
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state legislator. ed fallon, radio talk show host who served and i would general assembly has just come out and endorsed bernie sanders. we will be back with them in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. is i will caucus day. tonight at 8:00 eastern standard time, people will be going to the polls in iowa to discuss and debate their choices. i want to turn to a clip of hillary clinton at the iowa brown and black presidential forum last month. she was asked how her administration would prove that black lives matter. >> i've met, as you probably
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know, with a very dynamic group of young black lives matter directlyand have heard from them. and there is a broad agenda that we have got to address. let's start with the most contentious issues -- criminal justice reform, policing reform, incarceration reform. and i believe strongly that this has to be the highest priority of the president. president obama's policing commission has some very good suggestions that i would want to build on. that we have to do everything possible in reaching out and listening directly to communities that are being affected whose trust has been betrayed and broken, whose families are desolated by the large numbers of missing men in the community. and i have a very specific set of recommendations about what i would do. when it comes to arrest, yet to have a much clearer set of standards because african-american men and latino men in particular, get arrested
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were quickly for doing the same thing as a white man does. and then it continues through the process. or likely to be charged, more likely to be convicted, or likely to be incarcerated. and the figures don't lie. amy: this is hillary clinton at the black and brown forum and one of the audience members asked her about what white privilege meant to her. >> it is hard when you're swimming in the ocean to know exactly what is happening around you, so much as it is when you're standing on the shore perhaps watching. wasme, you know, look, i born white, middle-class in the middle of america. i went to good public schools. supportivey strong family. i had a lot of great experiences growing up. i would to a wonderful college. i want to law school.
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i never really knew what was or wasn't part of the privilege, i just knew that i was a lucky person and that being lucky in part related to who i am, where i am from, and the opportunities i had. amy: that was alert quentin at the black and brown forum of wayne ford who cofounded it. use and him one right now. the significance of what hillary clinton said, wayne ford? it meant so much to me. first, i want to knowledge my cochair of the latino component to the brown and black and i want to thank fusion tv for doing a wonderful job. when you talk about white privilege, i was watching the audience. everybody got quiet. way white person, -- the she answered that, i mean, i watched hillary grow -- he
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delivers, how she deals with the crowd. as you and i both know, black lives matter earlier in the session, there was a confrontation. hillary has learned along this journey to work with people. she was very callm about that question. when she talked about those to issues, that is when i decided to put my support behind hillary. amy: the author of the new jim crow mass incarceration, the age of color blindness posted -- she said, i can't believe hillary would be coasting into the primaries with her current margin of black support of most people knew how much damage the clintons have done. the millions of families destroyed, the last time they were in the white house, things to the boastful embrace of the mass incarceration machine and a total capitulation to the right-wing narrative on race,
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crime, welfare, and taxes. and she goes on from there. your thoughts on this, wayne ford? >> people have a right to say what they want. i am from washington, d.c. i'm well aware the criminal justice system, the crack cocaine problem in my community, the gangs, the killings in the street. black leaders with the congress and asked them for help. president clinton was president at that time. they put the package together. some of that package was supported by black leaders in my hometown of washington, d.c. let's talk about timing. fdr with the right president at the right time. president obama was the right president at the right time. with our challenges now, we need someone with experience. my support goes behind hillary clinton. amy: bernie held a rally saturday night and one of his many tour bus stops around the state. >> are we a poor nation? no, we're not. we are the richest nation in the , but thef the world
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vast majority of the american people don't know that because they're working to hard and they're struggling to hard to keep their heads above water economically, while almost all of the new income wealth is going to the top 1%. why? why do we allow that to happen? why do we accept that? this campaign is about. it is saying the status quo is simply not acceptable. we are going to make fundamental changes in our economy and in our political life. amy: that was bernie sanders manchester, iowa. ed fallon, talk about both what he said here continually addressing this issue of inequality as well as what you feel hillary clinton does not address this in that way. a -- is sanders is
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right on some issues to me. he is nailing all of the top issues. he understands the urgency of climate change and the importance of fighting against income inequality, and he understands the importance of getting money out of politics. that is a huge concern for a lot of people, is the big money that hillary clinton has taken and continues to take in her campaign, her very cozy relationship with wall street. we need someone who is going to fight wall street, not go along with it. unfortunately, that is what has been happening. even the reforms that happened after the last crash, those aren't doing anything for the average person. we really have to look at to us than the fighter for rank-and-file americans all along. secretary clinton, as much as i respect her, she is changed for positions conveniently all the time. the things we hear her saying now jenna campaign, i don't think she would be saying anything about opposing the keystone pipeline, for example, or calling herself a progressive or all of these other things she's talking about -- i think that is happening because you have senator sanders pushing her
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in that direction. it is a direction that, you know, experience is great, but if your experience means you make the wrong decision a lot of the times, like the iraq war, glass-steagall, sanders is for the movement to get the minimum wage to $15 an hour. senator clinton is not. i can't figure better program to help lift people out of poverty than a minimum wage that is a livable wage. amy: sent you each on the cannot recently in endorsing your candidates, wayne ford, was in a cap decision for you? could you support bernie sanders? >> last time i was in the president i supported obama. and before that, i supported -- i can go back from mondo, jimmy carter. i've been doing this for a very long time. i have always waited to make the right decision. let me be candid, whoever the nominee is, i'm a democrat. i will support the nominee. but as of right now, my thought
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pattern was, i would make my decision once i look at the black and brown form. i had a front row seat. since been doing this 1980 four. it is kind of hard to for me. each time i've done this, i've chosen the person i thought meant that much to me to make america more safer and i think president -- progressive clinton would be the person to do that. amy: ed fallon, would you support hillary clinton if she were the candidate? >> i would, but i can't promise all of the bernie sanders supporters what. if you look at the polling itself, against trump, ted cruz, or the republican nominee possibilities, clinton does not do as well as sanders. sanders beats the by greater margins and i think part of that is, a lot of folks are coming into bernie sanders campaign who are new to this, who have never felt empowered by candidate before, finally some of you who is speaking the language. i mean, here's a guy in his early 70's speaking to young people. young people are rallying behind sanders by huge margin in iowa.
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i think some will feel discouraged and probably not want to vote, and that would hurt senator clinton's chances in the general election. support her,nly but i can't tell of the center supporters -- amy: ed fallon, can you talk about those you're saying they're deciding not clinton and sanders, but trump and sanders? i understand that because donald trump, for all his is takingis -- he himself as outside the establishment. i can't think of a more establishment candidate and donald trump. but he is appealing to some of the same anti-status quo sentiment that bernie sanders is raking in. i think the more people see and hear of trump, you know, the less likely they are to continue to support that. with sanders, it is sincere.
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it is long-held. his consistency throughout the decades is incredible. with trump, again, like clinton, you see decisions being taken, statements being made that are fairly new to that person pott's rhetoric -- persons rhetoric, and i think it's up with the majority of people will start getting tired of that. especially with trump. i don't to compare trump with clinton any great extent it has much more she is a encouraging track record than trump, but i think people are going to get tired of that really soon. i don't know how far he is going to get. what happens tonight is when a be fascinating to watch. i think at some point, that support he has will be seen as very, very shallow. --:y, can you talk about the when ford, can you talk about the trump phenomenon. recently said, he could go out and shoot someone on fifth avenue and still win. any, let me talk about that
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statement. young people come to me all the time. my nonprofit -- i've had so many young black people come to me and said, wayne, if we made that statement, they would put us in jail. america has to make a decision. know bernie isi doing well with college campuses and all that, but what i'm hearing, here in iowa, i've heard more millennials who said they're going to support hillary because she has the experience and she has had the season. some of these people can't pay rent, are living with their parents. in their generation, they were moneyhey will make less than us baby boomers. i have young people saying, if i walk around saying of one to kill some of the, i would be put in jail. america must make a decision. that is why i am so excited to support hillary. we need to start getting real. if my son said, "daddy, i'm not going to live as long as you," that bothers me.
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amy: and the issue of the evangelical vote. talk about how significant it is. is the evangelical population ,ctually decreasing and iowa and what are the concerns of evangelicals." >> did you want to hear from me on that? amy: well, ed fallon. it is hard to say. the evangelical wing of the republican party has been very effective at choosing a candidate that represents the position. we have santorum last time and huckabee before. i think that wing of the republican party tends to get really tired really fast. if you don't when the first time, you're out. santorum and huckabee are polling at 2% here. candidate of the day for that wing of the party. but about 40% of iowa democrats
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caucus, about 20% of iowa republicans caucus. we have twice as much participation. if more mainstream cap republicans were to participate, that rome would probably be less influential. what is happening tonight is hard to say. it very well could be a ted cruz victory given the fact that evangelicals tend to be in behind him. and to the real crime figure question, i think overall we are beginning to see an erosion of the element in the public a party. amy: and how important, wayne ford, turnout is and how you maximize it? my first presidential forum -- in 1976 when jimmy carter i was a young kid. there was a storm back then when
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vice president biden ran, he took a private plane to get to my event. mondale mr. because of a storm, but he got a plane and came in later. whether it is storms or not, we lead the country. i think i once will do their due diligence. this is not the first storm. i see the weather getting as much attention as these candidates. i been doing this since 1976 and we have the oldest process, the best process, and storms are not going to stop us. i'm just excited to be involved. amy: we're going to take a break and ring on some new gas in des moines. i want to thank wayne ford, cofounder of the iowa brown and black form. ed fallon host of the "fallon , forum," and served as a member of the iowa general assembly from 1993 to 2006. today is the first of the nominating contests and it is in iowa.
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we're talking to folks in des moines. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as a nation focuses on the iowa caucus, we turn to an issue that has received little attention -- a growing debate in iowa over the bakken pipeline -- proposed crude oil pipeline that would run diagonally across iowa. bernie sanders recently ran a campaign ad featuring a pair of farmers talking about his position on the pipeline. >> my family has lived on this farm for three generations. the bakken would pump dirty crude oil across iowa. >> the fact bernie sanders stands up against the pipeline is one of the reasons we support him. >> bernie sanders did not hesitate to say no to the big oil companies. >> he knows if we don't act, we threaten a climate and health of our children. >> bernie sanders understands that. >> ernie standards has the guts
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to stand up for what he believes in. amy: i am bernie sanders and i approve this message. amy: while the sanders ad does not mention rival hillary clinton, on the campaign trail the vermont senator has used the pipeline to highlight differences between the two campaigns. joining us now from des moines is jeff biggers is a journalist and historian. he is a writer-in-residence and the founder of the climate narrative project at the university of iowa. there is a lot of activism on campus, jeff. talk about the bakken pipeline and why people should care. >> sure. this is a pipeline that sort of has flown under the radar from most of the national media. it is a big issue in iowa, specially for farmers, for the environmental activists and climate activist. it figures through, this will be a half-million barrels of oil that will be coming from the fracking fields of north dakota completely across the state
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going to the southern tier of the midwest and the south. it has really become a bit of a litmus test for a lot of people with the candidates. i think what has encouraged a lot of people is bernie sanders has been in the forefront and said he is against the bakken pipeline and has taken a position. that is very much united farmers with environmentalists and students to side with bernie sanders is really the main climate action candidate this year. amy: can you talk overall, give us a lay of the land of iowa and the energy issues that are of great concern to iowans? >> sure. i think what is unusual about iowa, i first came here in 1984 to work on the campaign and it was a completely different issue. you have a completely different narrative going on right now. a different group of people who are working together. 30% of the electricity in iowa is produced by wind energy and that has brought together a ,nique network of both farmers
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business people, republicans and democrats, students and climate activists who are really in the forefront of the clean energy revolution. at the same time, they're quite concerned about other issues. i think this is where they're looking at bernie sanders for leadership will not he is the only candidate that is been in the forefront of taking on the fossil fuel lobby, refusing to take money from also fuels lobbies, someone who is against any kind of also feel subsidies. and someone who has been in the forefront long before president obama to say we have to end cola extraction. amy: talk about what you made about the subsidies, the fossil fuel subsidies. i don't think a lot of people actually understand how the system works. >> i think it is one of the incredible stories that is often gone unreported, the fact we provide billions of dollars in subsidies, both tax breaks, tax theit, an actual gifts to cold, oil, natural gas industry.
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illinois, for example, they receive millions of dollars both from the state but also from the federal government and this is something that bernie sanders has been in the forefront to say we have to end the subsidies and transfer them over the clean energy development. pointing out that come of issue, which is critical to any kind of clean energy revolution beyond a lot of the sort of well-meaning talk, is something that people are paying attention to and it is really mobilizing voters, i think especially the students of people in the rural areas. i want to turn the ted cruz who has come out against federal ethanol subsidies, drawing criticism from terry branstad and gop frontrunner donald trump. he was question on his position sunday by "meet the press" host chuck todd. generated does their $2.5 billion in income for i will households. this is a state with unemployment under 4%.
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this is an important part of their economy. >> absolutely. listen, my view on energy, we should pursue all of the above. we ought to be pursuing every -- >> that you would be hurting their economy. >> the people who are attacking me on this are lobbyists and democrats. and the reason -- >> is he a lobbyist or democrat? >> his son is. so his family makes a ton of money. the lobbyist very much want to keep iowa focused on the ethanol mandate because it keeps iowa dependent on washington. it means every year that the go back to washington and maintain the mandate, the lobbyist get paid, politicians get paid. i am going to illuminate all of the subsidies. no subsidies for oil and gas, no subsidies for anybody. amy: ted cruz from texas. the significance of what he is saying, jeff biggers? >> ted cruz really stands alone as the only candidate both of the democratic republicans who doesn't support subsidies in the
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ethanol industry here in iowa. let's just be frank about it. is one of the defining features in this state, both in the economy and the politics. and if, on something like that is quite unique. both the democrats like sanders and hillary clinton and o'malley, of course, support the renewable fuel standard. i think what people have seen is that cruz is making a major departure and challenge to what has been very much the orm here in iowa politics. amy: overall tonight, the issue of the climate -- the big storm that could hit iowa, talk about, jeff, on campus where you are, the university of iowa, you run this, what, climate narrative project at the university of iowa. how important is climate to iowa? sure. i was at bernie sanders rally on
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saturday, the largest rally so far here in iowa, over 4000 students showed up and many more were left outside the field house. probably one of the biggest issues, clearly, that brought a whethertudents there, or not we're going to have action on climate change. the most organized sectors on campus among the students are the climate change groups who are working and have a very good ground game to get their students to the caucuses, so i think these are students who really are facing the future, who realize it is not enough to just sort of say that you believe in climate change and he would have some sort of action, not enough to say just want to put solar panels us or percentage of our households, but who want to see really hard-nosed climate action plan, and that has really put bernie sanders the forefront. what we have done on the campus is try to come up with a new climate narrative, new way to reachbout energy that can more people. in fact, mobilize more people to do something about it. i think this campaign in iowa is
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very reflective of it. i think people often see iowa as a flyover state. why do we have the caucus in iowa? iowa has been in the forefront of the clean energy movement across the state and could very much set the pace and set a very high bar for what candidates have to do in a talk about climate energy, climate change, and clean energy. amy: jeff biggers, thank you for being with us journalist and , historian. he is a writer-in-residence and the founder of the climate narrative project at the university of iowa. we are talking to jeff biggers, but we're going to switch right now to talk about caucus day. what exactly are the iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest of the 2016 presidential race? to 1100 schools, churches, libraries, other locations across iowa tonight at 7:00 p.m. iowa time. turnout varies by community with up to 1000 people typically gathering in cities like des
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moines, well if you dozen or less may gather in more sparsely populated areas. at stake is just 1% of the delegates make candidates need to win the party's nomination. democrats and republicans each have their own rules over how to caucus. to help us understand what will actually happen tonight, we are joined by hugh espey, who is the executive director of iowa citizens for community improvement. can you lay out for us, what is a caucus? how does it differ from a primary? , you have to spend about an hour or two going to a public meeting as a poster primary where you go during the day and cast your ballot period. caucus-goers at 7:00 tonight and it is a community meeting where you are meeting with your friends and neighbors and picking a presidential nominee. amy: but explained. for people who don't come from
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room and youinto a don't just vote like you do another state. explain what you do. so they're going to be 2000 of those meetings across the state tonight. the republicans -- it is a little bit different than the democrats. it could be a church basement, a library. at the beginning, there is going to be endorsements or speeches from various folks that support candidates. the people at the republican caucuses then cast a secret ballot, and the ballots are tallied. the votes are apportioned accordingly. the democratic caucus is a little different. democrats, you show up in your caucus site and come you know, you hear some speeches from folks that support different candidates, and then you vote with your feet. in a sense, the caucus, the
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person is moderating the caucus will say, "ok, sanders supporters, you go to the side of the room. clinton supporters, to this out of the room. o'malley, to this out of the room." you physically go to different parts of the room. you're voting. it is public voting. your voting with your feet. and for your candidate to be viable, you need to have, and the democratic caucuses, you need to have 50% of the caucus-goers their supporting your candidate -- 15% of the caucus-goers their supporting your candidate. if there are 100 people, one particular candidate to be viable, they need at least 15 of those 150 people there. if you don't need of high ability test, you either split up and you go to another candidate or you can abstain. that is what it is. with the democratic caucus, he will spend about two hours. the republicans will be a little bit less. after the nominations, you deal with party platforms. is exciting stuff tonight
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the voting for the nominees. and why did the republicans democrats involved desperately -- evolved differently? why is the process different? >> why the democrats differ here in iowa that the republicans? amy: their system. wiser system different? you don't have the same system where it is private voting when it comes to republicans and you have a whole controversy over this ted cruz flyer that went out. >> i don't know. that is a good question. i'm going to caucus in the democratic caucus and we're going to stand up in front of our neighbors and say, we support so-and-so. that is what it is going to be. democrats are just just make things just a little more
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complicated. amy: how many people have not decided by the time -- i mean, if they're going to go to the caucus, how many people actually make up their minds in the discussion? a good question. from my experience, most -- the overwhelming majority of folks who are at the caucus have made up their minds. now, you might be at the democratic caucus. you might be in a group that is not viable. you do not have 15%. that you have to figure out, and my go stand with another candidate or abstain? my experience has been that the know they're going to vote for particular candidate. -- turnout is a big factor. i think the weather is going to be ok. there's probably going to be one hundred 30,000 republican to turn out and i think a big democratic turnout, over 200,000.
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big turnout will help sanders on democrats. amy: why is iowa first? >> that is a good question. we practice grassroots politics out here. developed like that out of the party structure over 40 years ago. sometimes people say, i want is a lot different than the rest of the country, it is older, whiter and that sort of thing. here in iowa, we take our politics pretty seriously. out.nt candidates to come we want to hear what they have the same we want them to hear what we have the same. we take politics very seriously. whether you're in des moines or the middle of detroit, people are people. we want good schools, we want good jobs, we want to make sure we have retirement security. so the issues that are important here in iowa are important
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across the country. candidates a good look. we put them through the paces. we asked them -- we tell them what we want and we want to hear what they've got to say. amy: just for people who have never experienced this before, you are in the democratic caucus , and summon goes over to, say, martin o'malley and maybe he doesn't get the 15% he needs for that group to remain cohesive. what happens then? someone in the room says you have to go to another -- you have to go to another group? after the first initial -- in the democratic caucus, after the first initial division up into the groups, they will do the counting. if you don't have, let's say it is martin o'malley, say you don't have 15% and then people from the other preference groups
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, sanders will approach you and clinton will approach you. they will talk about what issues are important you and what issues are important to their candidate. they will try to convince people to side with them. and what i would say to a candidate or person that is preference group that is not viable, if you want to challenge the political establishment and if you want to change business as usual politics, then come stand with us. i think people are fed up with business as usual politics. expected tome is it wrap up tonight, 11:00 eastern time? well, yeah. it is not like a basketball game per you have 20 minutes half or that sort of stuff. it could go on. it all depends. it is going to be interesting. i think the democratic caucus
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sites will last longer because of the preference groups and questions about liability. -- viability of some of those caucuses. i think we will have a pretty good idea about 9:00. amy: we have to leave it there. we do have a deadline. thanks for joining us. [caption
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